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March 15, 2013

Top 10 Points from WOW - Women of the World Festival

So last weekend I attended the Women of the World Festival (WOW), which was held at the Southbank Centre and which celebrates the formidable strength, and inventiveness of women.

The day was a diverse programme of events, performances, talks, debates etc. from women from around the globe

Two of the fantastic debates I attended were:

Fashion, Beauty and Style
The fashion industry contributes nearly £40bn to the UK economy, directly employing over 800,000 people. So why isn’t it taken more seriously? Why does a dress worn by Kate Middleton (Duchess of Cambridge) sell out in minutes? Can fast fashion ever be ethical?”

The speakers included Hadley Freeman from The Guardian, Natasha Pearlman – deputy editor of Elle Magazine and ethical fashion expert Amisha Ghadiali. It was chaired by June Sarpong, presenter and co-founder of the WIE Network.


Weave VS Natural? The Politics of Natural Hair’ “For centuries, women of colour have been told that their hair in its natural state isn’t good enough. Do we judge black women by whether or not they straighten their hair? Is the Afro still a political hairstyle? And do Michelle Obama’s bangs really matter?

Speakers included: Keysha Davis, editor of Blackhair magazine, journalist and writer Funmi Fetto, journalist Eva Simpson and blogger Natalie Clue (Beauty Pulse London). It was chaired by journalist and author Hannah Pool I have a detailed post of this coming up soon where I am writing it as a guest post, so I will keep you posted on when it comes out.

In the meantime, I just wanted to share a brief summary of some of the key points that I took away and some images of the events and people.

Key Points

  1.  When people say fashion is superficial it diminishes the women and people that work in it, and when you consider how much it contributes to the economy it isn’t an industry to take lightly
  2. We cannot say that clothes don’t matter. We all have to wear clothes!
  3. Clothing can have an effect on how we feel and is often a reflection of what is going on with us and how we are trying to present ourselves.
  4. A fantastic quote from Natasha Pearlman “Clothing can empower and create something for you but it shouldn’t be what defines you”
  5. Often the judgments we make on others are often based on the judgment we have on ourselves.
  6. June Sarpong gave a great quote “You cannot look to the media and the images within it as what defines you as a person”
  7. Beauty is all about who you are as a person and not what you are wearing
  8. On the subject of good hair and what is or isn’t good hair (Everyone’s favorite subject) I personally believe that it’s a topic that should be removed from our conversation, any hair you have on your head is good hair – simply put good hair is hair that is healthy!
  9. We should all unite as women – hair is just that – hair! And how we choose to wear our hair shouldn’t be what divides us.
  10. Finally and this was one of my favorite quotes of the day from Funmi Fetto as I think it summarised a lot of the key points that were raised about identity, the impact of the media and how we define ne ourselves “Your identity should not be steeped in what your hair looks like, it’ needs to be steeped in something much deeper”.
Here are few pictures from the events and the lovely people I spotted

Funmi Fetto 

Hannah Pool wearing a lovely dress from Chiachia London

Hannah Pool & Natalie Clue from Beauty Pulse London
Natalie Clue, Funmi Fetto and Hannah Pool

Natasha Pearlman from Elle Magazine

Natasha Pearlman and her absolutely gorgeous necklace

June Sarpong, Amisha Ghadiali, HadleyFreeman and Natasha Pearlman

Helen Jennings - Editor of Arise Magazine

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